Good For Consumers Good For Growers
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Roy Navarre, research geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Prosser, has studied more than 200 baby potato varieties and found that along with being aesthetically appealing to consumers they are also phytonutrient rich vegetables. In fact, the antioxidant capacity of some types of baby potatoes can be equally compared to the amounts found in spinach and broccoli. This can be good news for growers on several levels.
NAVARRE: Because they are harvested 60 to 80 days after planting that does have advantages - lesser input, less season-long disease pressure; potentially one could double-crop. Plus it can help diversify the potato market - give growers additional options on what types of potatoes and who their target markets are. And also these type of potatoes probably appeal to the non-traditional consumer of potatoes.
Navarre says he strongly believes this is a great opportunity for the potato industry to raise awareness about the nutrition of potatoes in general, which are also high in many phytonutrients, including vitamin C and potassium.
NAVARRE: If you take a careful look at the phytonutrients in a potato versus other vegetables, I think many consumers would be surprised to realize all the compounds that they can get from a potato. That’s a message I would hope to get out there - that these facts become more widely appreciated by consumers.
Navarre plans to evaluate lines out of the Tri-State Potato Breeding program this season for their potential as baby varieties.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.